Tuesday, 12 January 2016

ITSO . . . In the Style of . . . Madonna . . .or Marlene Dietrich . . . or Milicent Rogers

Billboard does a great overview of Madonna's style evolution from 1984 to the present. I cannot think of anyone else who has reinvented herself so often and of anyone who could pull off so many different styles, trends and personas, from tacky to elegant.

For those whose style resolution in 2016 is to try a different look or style, Madonna can very well be your inspiration. Take a look at her on stage or in film or accepting awards or on the street over the years and there will definitely be something there that will motivate your style evolution.

MTV Video Music Awards, September, 1984
Photo Source: Trendsylvannia.
Retrieved January 10, 2016
Of course, those of you who have read this blog before can predict that I am going to say that I prefer the "toned down" look. Sorry but if it is boring to be elegant and "toned down", I choose to be boring at least in my clothing choices. Madonna has of course been seen in very elegant pieces as well. I suppose it was her underwear as outerwear phase that I was least taken by. This photo probably represents the very beginning of that phase and it develops in an outlandish way after that. But the subsequent over-emphasized pointed cones covering her breasts was a "costume" after all, for a celebrity. That is another factor to consider when you are choosing to adopt a new style or perhaps I should write that as what you will choose not to adopt into your style transition. Trendsylvannia takes you through a 1984 to 2014 progression of her style at particular award shows. Nothing she has worn since those piercing points has been quite so tacky or dramatic, except for the star pasties perhaps - see the September 24, 1992 photo on Billboard. Madonna's 2014 clothing choice at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards re-incarnates Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) in her classic black suit and top hat look.

Turquoise, silver and black statement necklace with crosses
Designed and Created by JoyD.
It was Madonna's layering of big gawdy costume jewellery that influenced my own jewellery making style. I loved the over-sized crosses that she worked into her jewellery choices. 

This look in accessories is much easier to pull off than the pointed cones or pasties. As well, this can become a signature style for the wearer. The pasties will only get you arrested for indecent exposure.

Madonna may have popularized that look for her contemporaries in the 80s but there were plenty of "influential women" prior to Madonna who were mixing fake with real and layering oversized jewellery pieces. Think about Chanel and her fondness of layering pearls of different lengths, Mellicent Rogers stacking bracelets, and Iris Apfel who does both to excess.

Photo retrieved from Dalena Vintage on January 10,
Millicent Rogers (over)did turquoise so well! (Dalena Vintage does a nice review of Melicent Rogers and her life.) Notice the cross necklace sitting in an untraditional position for the time and the stacked bracelets. The way she wore those necklaces and bangles proved that certain fashion is everlasting. Just "google" the following: "Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, New Mexico - turquoise and silver bracelets" and you will see a ton of stackable bangles and bracelets that were popularized by Milicent Rogers before Madonna and many of you were born.

Is there anything new under the sun? Perhaps not, it is just a matter of combining, substituting, modifying and rearranging things to make them your own. Try it in 2016 . . . without buying anything new.

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